Christian Marclay/Thurston Moore/Lee Ranaldo Fuck Shit Up

This recording is from a live performance at the 16th Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in 1999. Fans of Sonic Youth may have been scratching their heads while hitchhiking back to Montreal, trying to piece together what the maelstrom of sound they heard had to do with "Kool Thing" or even "Death Valley '69." For fans of improvised music, this is an interesting document, especially for the appearance of Marclay in a context that places volume in equal stature with texture. The first track (which is the whole performance) has everything that is great and irritating about improvised performance: unexpected jewels of sound where all three have bumped into the same seam of sonic bedrock, mining away like mad; long passages where, since nothing seems to work, the noise level gets pushed into the stratosphere, hoping something pops out; like working the stuck lid of a jar. In the end, the plusses win. The encore, which begins with Marclay chopping up a riff from "Cross the Breeze" on Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, highlights his solo skills and then leads into a Ranaldo/Moore meltdown that sweeps everyone back out into that May weekend night. (Victo)